Friday, October 2, 2015

Col. Harlan Sanders & Co. Take On Nashville's Own Hot Chicken

Posted By on Fri, Oct 2, 2015 at 2:24 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO: KFC.COM
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The team at KFC/Yum! Brands have done it again... In 2010, they released the “Double Down”, a “sandwich” with so much chicken they decided to replace the bread with … chicken. Yesterday, the company announced they would be expanding their menu to include Nashville Hot Chicken, the dish most near and dear to the hearts and stomachs of generations of Music City faithful.

In the truest form of flattery, states that “The Colonel's latest creation was inspired by one of Nashville’s most famous dishes.”

It adds, "Featuring a perfect blend of spicy cayenne and smoke paprika, it's available in both tenders and chicken on the bone."

Those eager to see if Col. Sanders' “creation” lives up to the high standard set by Prince’s and a long list of fine establishments in our city will have to wait — or book a flight to the Iron City. That’s right, Kentucky Fried Chicken will only be testing their Nashville Hot Chicken in Pittsburgh, though the website promises it will soon be available nationwide.

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Bad Bitches Coming to Nashville From Charleston for Chefs' Dinner Oct. 26

Posted By on Fri, Oct 2, 2015 at 9:49 AM

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A group of bold female food and drink professionals in Charleston, S.C., have taken it upon themselves to preach for empowerment among women in the community. Earlier this year, former Fig sous chef Sarah Adams, Kelly Kleisner of Mirabelle Bakery, and Randi Weinstein of Butcher and Bee came together to form a new group they call Bad Bitches. In their first half-year of existence, the Bad Bitches have put on a series of events in Chucktown to raise more than $50,000 for a scholarship fund dedicated to the continuing education of women in the hospitality industry.

Now they are bringing their party to Nashville with an event coming up on Monday, Oct. 26, hosted by Sarah Gavigan at POP Nashville. They are partnering with the local chapter of the Pink Boots Society for a Halloween-themed event they are calling "Bad Bitches Brew." The dinner will showcase the skills of local luminaries Deb Paquette of Etch, Maneet Chauhan of Chauhan Masala & Ale House, Allie Lane from Little Octopus, Rebekah Turshen of City House, Kayla May of Blushing Berry and Josephine, Lisa Donovan of Buttermilk Road and Chelsey Conrad of Butcher and Bee Charleston, along with Adams. The chefs will be joined by female brewers of Nashville, including folks from Tennessee Brew Works, Jackalope, Corsair, Mayday and Black Abbey, to feature special small-batch beers chosen to be paired with all courses.

Boys are certainly allowed in this girls' club, but it will definitely be a night for the ladies to shine. Event proceeds will benefit the Pink Boots Society Nashville, for the continuing education of women in beer, and the Bad Bitches Scholarship fund. Tickets for the Bad Bitches Brew are $85 plus fees and are available at the event's website.

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Weekly Open Thread: What's Your Favorite Fall Beverage?

Posted By on Fri, Oct 2, 2015 at 8:46 AM

  • The Loving Pie Company on Facebook
Most folks change their beverage preferences according to the season. Icy and sprightly rule the summer, warm and full-bodied ascend in the fall. Now that autumn weather is setting in, it's time to rethink our drinks.

In September, sommelier Pete Holland wrote a Scene Dining column about red wines suitable for fall. Holland says: "I want from a fall wine the same thing I want from the other palliatives of autumn; what I want when I grab a scarf on the way out the door, and what I want when I look around for an espresso after stepping off the bus into a cold wind — the feeling that as long as I have this, right now, everything will be all right."

That strikes a chord with us at Bites, but we're also pretty omnivorous with our beverages: We love not just wine and beer (including the auburn, malty brews of autumn) but also coffee and cocoa and hot apple cider. (Enjoying warm cider and fresh hot doughnuts at an apple mill in Michigan is one of my earliest memories.)

My colleague Megan Seling points that The Loving Pie Company recently announced on Facebook and Instagram that they have brought back Hot Chocolate Flights for fall. Huzzah!

How about you, Bites Nation? What are your favorite fall drinks? And what else is on your mind?

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Gourmet Mac, Iced Coffee, Pear Cider and More That You Don't Have to Miss From Music City Food + Wine

Posted By on Fri, Oct 2, 2015 at 7:57 AM

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By now, you may have had your fill of FOMO from reading recaps of the Music City Food + Wine Festival. But wait! This one is different. Sure, you missed a lot of stuff at the festival, but the great part is that you can check out much of it any time you want. Because along with a number of restaurants serving special bites (and big-name chefs serving at Harvest Night), there were a number of retail products you can buy just any ol’ time.

Dan’s Gourmet Mac and Cheese (pictured) — which has grown quite a bit from humble beginnings at farmers markets — is available in the freezer section of local Kroger stores as well as all across the country and online. You can find Corner Market Catering foods at their West Nashville store or several other stores around the city. Also available all around town is Switters Iced Coffee. Though the Lemonade Iced Coffee I tasted at the festival is a bit hard to find. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? It’s crazy delicious, though. Trust.

For your sweet tooth, there’s no doubt you already know that you can get Christie Cookies and Goo Goo Clusters — both made right here in Nashville — just about any time you want them. Goo Goo was sampling every premium Goo Goo from the Summer Chef’s Series, which you might still be able to get at the Goo Goo Store. Olive and Sinclair was also at the festival with their chocolates as well as candies from their new brand, Seersucker Candy Company. Those Cherry Bombs (pickled cherry cordials) and Muzzle Loaders (salted bourbon caramel-filled chocolates) are fantastic.

The adult beverage selection at the festival was (as always) overwhelming. Because of the heat, I tried to take it easy, so I stuck with gin cocktails from Hendrick’s and Jack Rudy Cocktail Company on day one and then Sixty One from Dogfish Head Brewery and The Infinite Monkey Theorem Dry Hopped Pear Cider on day two. If you want to try the Dogfish Head, it's currently on tap at Cochon Butcher (and likely elsewhere around town). The pear cider is available at Midtown Wine and Spirits. Hendrick's and Jack Rudy artisanal tonics are available just about everywhere.

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Nashville Cake Artist Renay Zamora Competes on Halloween Wars

Posted By on Thu, Oct 1, 2015 at 11:23 AM

click to enlarge Renay Zamora (right) with Halloween Wars teammates  Rebecca Wortman and Doug Goodreau - FOODNETWORK.COM
  • Renay Zamora (right) with Halloween Wars teammates Rebecca Wortman and Doug Goodreau
Renay Zamora of Sweetface Cakes doesn’t hesitate to inform you, when asked, that she prefers the title of cake artist to that of baker. And the Nashville-based master of the dessert arts tells the Scene she takes the “artist” part of her job seriously.

“I prefer not to just say baker, not that I’m fooling anyone by not saying it,” she adds with a laugh, “but I prefer the creative side of it over just the baking.”

Zamora’s creativity will be on full display this Sunday, Oct. 4, 8 p.m. when the new season of Food Network’s Halloween Wars kicks off. Zamora will be a contestant on this year’s four-episode season of the perennial fall fan favorite, facing off against four other teams of three in a contest of will, determination and fondant.

The teams, each consisting of an expert pumpkin carver, a cake decorator, and a sugar artist, are all competing for a grand prize and the title of Halloween Wars champion.

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From Volunteer State to Empire State: Nashville Chefs Head to New York

Posted By on Thu, Oct 1, 2015 at 7:49 AM

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Two local favorites are heading to New York soon to show off the best of Nashville talent in separate dinner events in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

The first is chef Andy Little of Josephine, who has an invitation to cook with Patti Jackson at Delaware and Hudson in Brooklyn this Monday, Oct. 5. The duo first met and cooked together as part of the Nashville Wine Auction's Pairings dinner earlier this year, and the chefs apparently really hit it off. Little and Jackson came together over their love of Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine and wowed the assembled crowd at Pairings with their course.

Now Little is returning the favor with what they are describing as "a multi-course meal showcasing traditional Pennsylvania Dutch favorites, from dried corn to pot pie, along with autumn's bounty." While I don't imagine many (or any) Nashvillians would make the trip just to be a part of this dinner, you might want to give any NYC friends the heads-up on this one. They can call Delaware and Hudson at 718-218-8191 to hold a spot at the table.

The second Nashville to New York dinner will be held at the prestigious James Beard House on Wednesday, Dec. 16, when chef Trey Cioccia and his team at The Farm House take their brand of farm-to-table upscale Southern food to the Big Apple.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Sylvan Park Restaurant in Melrose Closes for Good

Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2015 at 3:35 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO: STEPHEN TRAGESER
  • Photo: Stephen Trageser
The Sylvan Park Restaurant in the Melrose neighborhood just served its last slice of pie. The restaurant, which about a decade ago took over the space at 2330 Franklin Pike that once held the legendary Melpark diner, declared that today's service, ending at 3 p.m., would be its last. The original Sylvan Park Restaurant in Sylvan Park closed a couple years ago. Both restaurants are exiting to make room for redevelopment in booming neighborhoods.

The owners of the Sylvan Park Restaurant note that they still have a location in Green Hills, on the ground floor of the Green Hills Apartments for Retired Teachers building at 2209 Abbott Martin. That restaurant, which operates 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, will add breakfast hours (6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday) starting this Monday.

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'Life Is Messy and So Is the Restaurant Business': Roderick Bailey on Closing Silly Goose

Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2015 at 11:35 AM

click to enlarge Roderick Bailey
  • Roderick Bailey
Nashvillians were shocked last week when acclaimed East Nashville restaurant The Silly Goose suddenly shut down after six years.

Chef-owner Roderick Bailey didn't comment on the closure at the time, but today he sent a statement to the Scene (also posted on Facebook), recounting his journey, thanking his customers, recalling The Silly Goose experience as "hard, rewarding, beautiful in all its imperfections" and noting that "life is messy and so is the restaurant business."

He also says he has no idea yet what his future plans will be. Here is his statement:

A Message from Roderick Bailey and The Silly Goose

August 23rd, 2008: I came to Nashville — totally broken, scared, faithless, and hopeless.

October 13th, 2009: I opened The Silly Goose with no money, no reputation, a George Foreman Grill, a bandana, and several sharpies. I had found hope in the previous year, faith in something to hold onto, and a chance at a new life. Truly a miracle.

The last six years have been beyond anything I could have possibly fathomed.
To all the people I have worked with- THANK YOU. You have been my family, my support, the best friends I've ever had. I'm so grateful for you all. I love you and I am so proud of you.
You have all been part of true magic—way beyond the sum of our individual selfs. You helped me create a place where love and kindness came first and because of that, we made some fantastic food together.

To all of you who came to eat with us over the last six years—thank you. I hope you felt the love in our food, our music, and the way we treated you.
Life is messy and so is the restaurant business. The Silly Goose took everything I had every day. It was hard, rewarding, beautiful in all its imperfections.

I have no idea what the universe has planned for me next. I have faith and hope and I am filled with gratitude for what the Silly Goose and the last six years have been.


With love & gratitude,

Roderick Bailey

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Get Rummy (But Not the Gin Kind) at Chauhan's Afrohead Cocktail Hour

Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2015 at 7:32 AM

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I'm on record as being a big fan of the products from Afrohead rums, and I think that I'm on my third bottle of their 15-year-old XO expression. Part of the reason why I've run through so much of it is because I've been sampling it with just about anyone who comes through my door.

Rather than trying to convert the drinkers of Nashville one at a time, I figured I'd let you know abut an opportunity for you to try it out without having to visit my kitchen and listen to my barking poodles. Afrohead Rums is aiming to take happy hour to the next level this Tuesday, Oct. 6, at Chauhan Ale & Masala House. From 5 to 8 p.m., customers are invited to enjoy "Afro Hour" with classic Afrohead cocktails made using both the 7-year and 15-year XO expressions.

In addition to $8 Afrohead drinks, the kitchen at Chauhan will be creating some small bites to accompany the cocktails. Don't miss it!

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Chef Deb Paquette Drops Sylvan Park Site for Her Next Restaurant, Truss

Posted By on Tue, Sep 29, 2015 at 4:16 PM

click to enlarge Deb Paquette
  • Deb Paquette
Deb Paquette, the veteran chef behind Etch, is looking for a new site for her next restaurant, Truss. She and her partners announced today that they have ended a deal that would have put Truss in leased space in a building under development at 46th and Utah avenues in Sylvan Park. Work on the site stalled earlier this year.

“We are all very sad that things didn’t work out the way we’d planned in Sylvan Park,” Paquette says in a release today. “The outpouring of support from the community through this process has been heartwarming. This location was exactly what we wanted and we are sorry we couldn’t deliver this restaurant to the neighborhood and surrounding area.”

The release cites "disagreements between the developer, neighborhood and city" over the size of the building.

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